Two of Algeria’s 2010 World Cup qualification heroes, Nadir Belhadj and Karim Matmour, have joined Antar Yahia in stepping away from the Vahid Halilhodzic’s Fennecs
Two days following Antar Yahia’s retirement from international football, Nadir Belhadj and Karim Matmour have announced that they too have put an end to their time representing Algeria on the world and continental stage.
According to Echorouk, Belhadj had made his choice known to Fennecs coach Vahid Halilhodzic before Algeria’s most recent 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Gambia but the Franco-Bosnian told him to consider his decision further before making it official.
While the former Portsmouth’s player choice did not come as a major surprise considering his declining number of appearances at international level as of late, Matmour’s departure was relatively unexpected, especially considering he is only 26-year-old and that many consider he still has plenty to offer the Fennecs who are about to embark on 2014 World Cup qualifying this summer.
In a statement, the Eintracht Frankfurt striker cited a desire to focus on his club career as the main reason for his choice while peculiarly seeming to leave the door open for a possible return should he regain his form and be deserving of a place in the Fennecs squad.